Let’s talk about ColourPop for a second. I shared my first impressions almost three years ago, back when online-only brands that used a fast-fashion production model were rare enough to seem sinister. These days, though, I feel more blasé about that aspect of ColourPop’s identity. Yes, it’s a bit sad that online-only brands with accelerated production cycles have largely done away with the concept of the “holy grail” product. (When was the last time you heard a makeup YouTuber use that term?) But there are problems with that concept, too, and let’s face it: novelty is fun and ColourPop makes some genuinely good stuff. Ironically, their highlighter in Lunch Money is a holy grail of mine. I’m also impressed with the four powder shadows I’ve tried so far (haven’t gotten around to reviewing those, sorry).
|A few of my favorite CP products. I’m proud of that pan on Lunch Money!|
However, I’ve mostly stopped visiting ColourPop’s site, for the simple reason that they release too many fucking products. Too many formulas, too many colors, too many concepts. I don’t know how people who keep up with the brand’s launches have time for anything else. I’m as susceptible to novelty as the next makeup lover, but enough is enough—I get decision fatigue after about a minute on the site. Granted, I am an older millennial, and I wonder if younger makeup shoppers are less turned off by the constant flood of new releases. After all, the strategy is clearly working on someone! And I’ll admit, there’s a certain genius to it. When a brand offers such an enormous array of products, it’s easy to feel relatively virtuous when you add just one product to your cart…okay, maybe two…but this rose-quartz priming spray looks interesting…and suddenly your checking account is $50 lighter. “But I’m buying so much less than I could buy,” you think, “so I’m doing fine!” ColourPop’s site is a satanic whirlpool of consumerism, and I find it a lot simpler to just not go there. (Plus, they don’t even offer returns. Come on.)
Sometimes, though, ColourPop comes to me, and that’s a lot less overwhelming. Earlier this year, a kind reader sent me some gently used makeup, including three ColourPop Super Shock Shadows: Hammered, Partridge, and So Quiche. Though I like them all, So Quiche is by far my favorite. In fact, it’s quickly become one of my favorite single eyeshadows, period.
Despite my usual love for cream eyeshadows, I wasn’t terribly impressed when I first tried the Super Shock formula back in 2015. The shimmer shades applied smoothly but were too glittery for my usual taste, while most of the mattes had a patchier, less blendable formula. And both the mattes and the shimmers dried out within a year or so, which didn’t exactly make me want to stock up. So I was pleased to be able to play with three new shades this time, but I didn’t expect to fall in love with any of them. Yet here I am, enamored of a grayish olive green crammed with fine fuchsia glitter. How?
What I enjoy most about So Quiche is the sheer weirdness of that color combination: a muddy, warm base color with a bright jewel-toned shift. It’s like the classic blue-brown duochrome, but even more offbeat. There’s something liminal about it: disco meets grunge, Guy Bourdin meets Kevyn Aucoin. In natural light (above), the base color is more prominent, but in artificial light (below), the pink pops into view.
|Out of focus to show off the glitter.|
So Quiche may look bizarre in the pan, but I find it surprisingly wearable. The base color isn’t fully opaque, so it works well as a casual all-over lid color. And because the glitter isn’t big and chunky, it reads as more of a shimmer when worn. Here it is swatched in shade (above) and sun (below):
Here it is alone on my eyes, applied over the bare lid (I don’t like using primer with cream shadows). For a smokier effect, I like adding a matte shadow like ABH Warm Taupe in the crease, but I’m of the rather old-fashioned persuasion that not every eye look needs a matte crease color.
Fuzzy closeup of my eye, to bring out the glitter and unibrow:
I do get a tiny bit of fallout when I wear So Quiche (what’s the deal with that name, by the way?), but not enough to be noticeable. (I don’t own a glitter primer, but I’m curious how that would work with these sparkly ColourPop shadows.) To apply So Quiche, I use my finger to swipe a thin layer of product all over my lid, then build up more color with a patting motion. A black base under So Quiche makes the glitter more visible, though I’ve never actually worn it this way. Here’s a lazy swatch of SQ over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Black Bean:
Finally, a full face. I haven’t had much time for makeup experimentation recently, so I’ve been sticking to what I suppose is my signature look: a neutral shimmery eyeshadow all over the lid (with a matte shade in the crease and pencil liner on the upper lashline if I feel like it); a light application of blush and sometimes highlighter; and a lip that’s slightly more striking than a straight-up MLBB. Below, once again, we have So Quiche on its own, plus a bit of black mascara. My other color makeup is Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter, and Urban Decay Roach lipstick.
And, hey, I wrote a blog post! On days when I don’t have to teach or submit applications, I’m trying to be more aggressive about self-care. Last week I barely stopped working, didn’t get enough sleep, and of course caught a cold from the gross undergrads in the library and had to teach with a fever for two days. It was a useful reminder that my body really will break down if I don’t take at least a little time for myself every day, whether by blogging, reading a short story, or just watching a vapid haul video on YouTube. Given that my dissertation is literally about the experience of time, you’d think I’d be better at time management—or not.